31 Fun Jobs That Pay $20 an Hour or More with Little School
It's absolutely true. Millions of people enjoy fun jobs that pay $20 an hour or more—without having spent any longer than one or two years in college or trade school. And you can become one of them.
Why settle for anything less? The happier you are at work, the more successful you're likely to be in other areas of your life as well. Your career can be so much more than just a reliable source of good income. It can also be a major source of personal engagement and satisfaction.
After all, if you're anything like most people, you crave opportunities that make you feel energized and connected to something meaningful—something that's easy to commit to. A large survey conducted in 2014 showed that only about 31.5 percent of Americans felt engaged at work.* It's a result that confirms the real importance of choosing a path you're truly enthusiastic about.
So, again, why settle? Enjoyable jobs that pay 20 dollars an hour or more are a lot more plentiful than you might imagine. They can be found across many different industries. And they demonstrate that fun and good-paying possibilities exist for almost anyone with the motivation to pursue them.
That's true whether you're an outgoing people person, a technology buff, an aspiring creative artist, someone who likes helping others in need, someone who enjoys hands-on work, or a combination of these. In fact, many of the best-paying and most enjoyable jobs—ones that don't require much post-secondary education—now exist in career sectors like design, the media arts, technology, health care, and the skilled trades.
Top Jobs That Pay $20 an Hour and Up
Below are 31 truly engaging careers that pay, on average, $20 dollars or more per hour and are relatively quick to train for. Several of them are even among the fastest-growing jobs in America. Check out the following categories to find some high-paying careers that might interest you:
(Note: Wage and salary data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics. And job growth data, where included, is from the bureau's 2014 to 2024 projections in the 2016-17 edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook.)
This job is terrific for those who enjoy using their hands, want real respect as a professional, and are intrigued by the thought of interacting with all kinds of other people while contributing to their health and well-being.
- Average wage—$34.96 per hour / $72,720 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $47.33 per hour / $98,440 yearly
- Job growth—19 percent
Imagine being able to use ultrasound technology to see what's happening inside the human body in a way that's safe and fascinating. Now imagine doing that everyday to help pregnant women and many other types of medical patients receive the best care possible.
- Average wage—$34.08 per hour / $70,880 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $46.82 per hour / $97,390 yearly
- Job growth—26 percent
Almost everyone today gets multiple x-rays taken over the courses of their lives. Radiologic imaging is simply one of the most widespread diagnostic technologies used in healthcare. As someone who takes those x-rays, you can do a world of good for others.
- Average wage—$28.13 per hour / $58,520 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $39.26 per hour / $81,660 yearly
- Job growth—8.7 percent
What if you had the power to help sick, injured, or otherwise disabled people take care of themselves, return to work, or participate more fully in their hobbies and social lives? And what if you could do that every day? That's what this gratifying vocation is all about.
- Average wage—$28.05 per hour / $58,340 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $37.54 per hour / $78,080 yearly
- Job growth—43 percent
Conducting diagnostic testing on people's hearts and circulatory systems is often cited as one of the healthcare sector's most fulfilling career paths. Training in this field is a great way to make big contributions to people's health while ensuring your own job satisfaction.
- Average wage—$26.97 per hour / $56,100 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $41.91 per hour / $87,170 yearly
- Job growth—22 percent
Help injured and disabled people regain or increase their physical mobility or range of motion. This active, fulfilling, and in-demand healthcare vocation is often a real joy to be a part of.
- Average wage—$26.56 per hour / $55,250 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $36.99 per hour / $76,940 yearly
- Job growth—41 percent
This healthcare occupation is great for people who are fascinated by medical surgeries and the instruments and procedures involved in making them a success. As somebody who helps prepare operating rooms or assists surgeons, you could feel the pride of knowing you make a tangible difference every day.
- Average wage—$22.09 per hour / $45,940 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $30.48 / $63,410 yearly
- Job growth—15 percent
Legal & Criminal Justice:
Does the thought of helping people locate lost relatives or solve other kinds of mysteries intrigue you? This field lets you put your powers of research and surveillance to the test as you find answers for people who are often overjoyed when you succeed.
- Average wage—$25.41 per hour / $52,840 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $40.96 per hour / $85,190 yearly
For people who are intrigued by the thought of working in a law office and helping attorneys achieve justice for deserving clients, this type of career can really satisfy. Plus, it's an option that frequently comes with a lot of engaging job tasks.
- Average wage—$25.19 per hour / $52,390 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $37.99 per hour / $79,010 yearly
Skilled Trades & Technology:
Help design and build the next phase of our modern world. Engineers of every variety rely on the skills of technicians who have a strong interest in being part of innovative leaps forward in areas like electronics, industrial machinery, large-scale construction, and many others.
- Average wage—$30.20 per hour / $62,820 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $45.24 per hour / $94,100 yearly
Get up close to the advanced flying machines you're inspired by, and help repair or maintain their engines or other important systems. The aviation industry is full of opportunities for skilled helicopter and airplane mechanics.
- Average wage—$28.92 per hour / $60,160 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $42.81 per hour / $89,050 yearly
Aviation electronics is another fascinating area of the aircraft service sector that requires people with specialized skills. Much of the field involves installing, testing, maintaining, and fixing the advanced cockpit technologies used by pilots for things like navigation and weather tracking.
- Average wage—$28.94 per hour / $60,200 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $42.10 per hour / $87,570 yearly
13. Commercial Diver
Here's one for the more adventurous types. Why not work in a trade that lets you go under water day in and day out. With advanced scuba gear, you'll get to dive into oceans, lakes, or rivers to help install, build, or fix different kinds of large structures and underwater equipment.
- Average wage—$26.27 per hour / $54,640 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $42.53 per hour / $88,470 yearly
- Job growth—37 percent
This trade has a long history of providing people with satisfying, lucrative, and stable careers. After all, the pipes and equipment that give us access to clean water or other liquids (or gases) are fundamental to our way of life. When they break, who else are you going to call?
- Average wage—$26.49 per hour / $55,100 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $43.13 per hour / $89,720 yearly
- Job growth—12 percent
As the need for reliable electricity continues to grow, so does the need for qualified tradespeople with the ability to ensure we all have safe access to it. But that's just one reason why a lot of electricians absolutely love what they do.
- Average wage—$26.73 per hour / $55,590 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $42.37 per hour / $88,130 yearly
- Job growth—14 percent
Skilled tradespeople in the renewable energy sector are at the real leading edge of human progress. And working on wind turbines, in particular, is a fun and active way to contribute toward building a cleaner and more sustainable world.
- Average wage—$25.50 per hour / $53,030 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $34.53 per hour / $71,820 yearly
- Job growth—108 percent
With the growing use of complex or automated equipment in factories and other industrial settings, highly skilled mechanics are needed more than ever. Plus, this trade can be very enjoyable since it keeps you active as well as mentally engaged.
- Average wage—$24.75 per hour / $51,470 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $36.22 per hour / $75,340 yearly
The large mobile machines used in sectors like construction and mining don't take care of themselves. So that gives you the opportunity to become someone who gets to work up close with impressive heavy equipment like bulldozers, cranes, conveyors, and graders.
- Average wage—$24.08 per hour / $50,080 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $34.41 per hour / $71,570 yearly
19. HVAC Mechanic
This hands-on trade is known for opportunities that involve plenty of interesting work. After all, the heating and cooling of today's indoor spaces is achieved by the use of an increasing variety of different technologies. And they all require qualified technicians to install them and keep them operating efficiently.
- Average wage—$22.78 per hour / $47,380 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $34.47 per hour / $71,690 yearly
- Job growth—14 percent
New buildings always need to be constructed somewhere. And renovations to older homes and businesses are becoming more and more popular. As a result, skilled carpenters are often able to enjoy active and engaging work in a fun variety of different locations.
- Average wage—$22.49 per hour / $46,780 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $36.90 per hour / $76,750 yearly
- Job growth—6.4 percent
Imagine getting to restore damaged cars and trucks and help them regain their former good looks. That's what being an automotive body specialist is all about. It lets you use your mind as well as your hands to fix up all kinds of inspiring driving machines.
- Average wage—$21.44 per hour / $44,590 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $33.42 per hour / $69,510 yearly
Why not get paid to create visually stunning animations, special effects, or digital characters and environments? From video games to Hollywood movies, 2D and 3D artists help create the most popular forms of entertainment on the planet.
- Average wage—$33.80 per hour / $70,300 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $54.62 per hour / $113,600 yearly
Maybe you've been a big fan of on-screen storytelling your whole life. Well, who's to say you can't be part of the creative and technical process that makes memorable motion pictures and TV shows possible?
- Average wage—$38.61 per hour / $80,300 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $74.92 per hour / $155,840 yearly
Why not capitalize on your enthusiasm for popular entertainment mediums like TV and radio? The fields of sound and broadcast engineering enable technically inclined people to contribute directly to the production of memorable and/or informative television or radio programs.
- Average wage—$30.45 per hour / $63,340 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $56.99 per hour / $118,530 yearly
25. Fashion Designer
Satisfy your enthusiasm for creating new looks and fresh styles. The world of fashion thrives on the work of designers who have an original vision, a good sense of emerging trends, and plenty of creative energy.
- Average wage—$35.18 per hour / $73,180 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $60.23 per hour / $125,270 yearly
26. Theatrical Makeup Artist
What could be more invigorating than being part of the magic that occurs behind the scenes? Film, television, and live stage productions all require the talents of enthusiastic makeup artists to help transform their performers into convincing characters that reflect the needs of particular stories.
- Average wage—$32.00 per hour / $66,560 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $58.71 per hour / $122,110 yearly
Apply your creative abilities to a fun occupation that adds vibrancy and stylish functionality to the indoor spaces we all use. It's a field that often goes way beyond professional decorating.
- Average wage—$26.69 per hour / $55,510 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $43.93 per hour / $91,360 yearly
Builders and manufacturers need accurate and easy-to-understand visual schematics to produce the structures and products they specialize in. So drafters provide a vital service in many different industries.
- Average wage—$25.80 per hour / $53,660 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $39.37 per hour / $81,890 yearly
29. Graphic Designer
Have you ever wanted the power to make a big visual impact that generates many positive returns? It's something that graphic designers get to work toward every day. They have fun using their artistic talents to help communicate important and creative concepts or to make media projects interesting and user-friendly.
- Average wage—$24.83 per hour / $51,640 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $39.10 per hour / $81,320 yearly
Some people just have a way of making friends with almost anyone they meet. Your outgoing personality could give you a real advantage in selling innovative products or powerful services to the people who can benefit from them.
- Average wage—$29.98 per hour / $62,360 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $54.60 per hour / $113,570 yearly
Take advantage of your warm and approachable personality by helping property sellers and buyers achieve positive real estate transactions. It's a job with a lot of variety and opportunities to meet and delight fascinating people.
- Average wage—$28.08 per hour / $58,410 yearly
- Top-end pay—over $53.16 per hour / $110,560 yearly
* Gallup, website last visited on April 16, 2015.